West Berkshire Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Items
No. Item

25.

Chairman's Remarks

The Chairman to report on functions attended since the last meeting and other matters of interest to Members.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that he and the Vice-Chairman, Councillor Clive Hooker, had attended a number of events since the last Council meeting. Highlights included the Roc10K race in Newbury, a Citizenship Ceremony, the RAF Welford D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration and the Lord Lieutenant ‘at home’. The Chairman thanked the Vice-Chairman for his assistance.

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 196 KB

The Chairman to sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 05 March 2019, 21 May 2019, 21 May 2019 (Special) and 30 May 2019 (Special).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 5 March 2019, 21 May 2019, the Special meeting on the 21 May 2019 and the Special meeting on the 30 May 2019 were approved as true and correct records and signed by the Chairman.

The Chairman drew Members’ attention to a correction which should be noted in respect of a typographical error which appeared on page 174 of the full agenda pack of the 5 March 2019 Council meeting.  The private hire operator fee (for 5-9 vehicles) should have read £892 and not £298 as shown in the papers. 

27.

Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

Councillor Keith Woodhams declared an interest in Agenda Item 15a (by virtue of the fact that his wife worked for the Regency Park Hotel, Thatcham) and reported that, as his interest was a personal interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, he determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.

Councillor Gareth Hurley declared an interest in Agenda Item 15d (by virtue of the fact that he worked for Network Rail) and reported that, as his interest was a personal interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, he determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on the matter.

28.

Petitions

Councillors may present any petition which they have received. These will normally be referred to the appropriate body without discussion.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions presented to the meeting.

29.

Public Questions

Members of the Executive to answer the following questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. Please note that there were no questions submitted in relation to items not included on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no public questions received.

30.

Membership of Committees

The Council to agree any changes to the membership of Committees.

Minutes:

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Lee Dillon and seconded by Councillor Jeff Brooks:

That the Council:

“agrees that Councillor Dillon would replace Councillor Nassar Kessell as a substitute on the Governance and Ethics Committee.”

The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.

31.

Licensing Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Licensing Committee met on 24 June 2019.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Legal and Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Licensing Committee had met on 24 June 2019.

32.

Personnel Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Personnel Committee met on 28 June 2019.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Legal and Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Personnel Committee had met on 28 June 2019.

33.

Governance and Ethics Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of Council, the Governance and Ethics Committee met on 17 June 2019.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Legal and Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Governance and Ethics Committee had met on 17 June 2019.

34.

District Planning Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the District Planning Committee has not met.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the District Planning Committee had not met.

35.

Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission has not met.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission had not met.

36.

Joint Public Protection Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Joint Public Protection Committee met on 11 June 2019.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Legal and Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Joint Public Protection Committee had met on 11 June 2019.

37.

Revised Statement of Community Involvement for the Local Plan (C3750) pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Purpose: To ask Members to approve the draft updated Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for public consultation.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 14) which sought approval of the draft updated Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for public consultation.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Hilary Cole and seconded by Councillor Alan Law:

That the Council resolves:

“to approve the draft updated SCI for public consultation”.

Councillor Hilary Cole outlined the report and stated that the SCI set out the policy for involving the community in the plan making process and the consideration of planning applications within the district. Councillor Hilary Cole explained that in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2017, the SCI must be reviewed every five years. As the current SCI was published in September 2014, a review was now required.

Council noted that the current SCI worked well. Therefore, only minor changes would be necessary as a result of the review, mainly to take into account changes in legislation and national planning policies, and some other factual updates. A revised draft SCI (June 2019) was attached at Appendix D to the report.

Councillor Hilary Cole reported that the Council’s approach to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) had not changed; it was now set out in the Council’s Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document. In addition, as the Council now offered a pre-application advice service for all planning applications, it was no longer necessary to have a separate section in the SCI on significant applications.

The consultation period for the review would take place over six weeks from 12th July to 23rd August 2019. The revised SCI, post taking account of consultation responses, would then be considered by Council in December 2019.

Councillor Tony Linden reported that the revised draft SCI (Appendix D) referred to Wokingham District Council rather than the correct title of Wokingham Borough Council. Councillor Alan Macro highlighted other inaccuracies and a proof read was necessary prior to the commencement of consultation.

Councillor Macro said that given that not all residents had access to the internet, planning documents should be available in libraries in hard copy for the public. Councillor Graham Bridgman made the point that internet access was available to members of the public in libraries rather than needing hard copies.

Councillor Tony Vickers said that he was happy to support the consultation. However, Councillor Vickers said he regretted some of the changes that had taken place since the last review which meant that not all documentation relevant to planning applications was available on the website.

(Councillor Billy Drummond joined the meeting at 7.15pm).

Councillor Vickers asked Sarah Clarke, Monitoring Officer, to comment on the changes that had taken place. Sarah Clarke stated that whilst she did not have the necessary information to hand, her understanding was that the Council was fully compliant with its duties to publish planning application information. Sarah Clarke offered to follow this up outside of the meeting if needed.

Councillor Alan Law said that he fully supported the proposal to approve the draft updated SCI for public consultation. Councillor Law went on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Notice of Motions

Notice of Motions submitted.

38.(a)

Notice of Motion - Motion on Road & Pedestrian Safety Issues Bowling Green Road Thatcham

The following Motion has been submitted in the name of Councillor Keith Woodhams:

Motion on Road & Pedestrian Safety Issues Bowling Green Road Thatcham 

The Council is aware that the stretch of road known as Bowling Green Road from Northfield Road to the start of Tull Way, acts as a significant part of the northern road system in Thatcham, linking Floral Way with Tull Way. As such, the road is used by people to get to and from Newbury and other parts of Thatcham from both east and west as well as from Ashmore Green and Cold Ash.

 

Along this stretch of road, three housing areas are accessed via Mersey Way, Conway Drive and Thames Road.

 

Among a wide range of issues are the following:

 

The 30 mph speed limit is exceeded daily by numerous drivers.

Drivers exiting junctions from the three housing areas encounter vehicles coming towards them at high speed.

A 30 mph sign on the western approach is normally covered in foliage rendering the speed limit along the road unenforceable.

Foliage extends towards the road at various points contributing to poor sight lines at junctions.

Foliage narrows the footway at various points forcing pedestrians to walk closer to the edge of the pavement and thus closer to fast moving vehicles including HGV’s.

Regency Park Hotel staff & visitors cross the road to get to the facilities between fast moving vehicles, including HGV’s.

Pupils disembarking from the school bus and crossing the road between fast moving vehicles including HGV’s.

 

Given these significant issues:

 

This Council agrees to carry out an urgent and comprehensive review of Road and Pedestrian safety issues along this stretch of Bowling Green Road.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the under-mentioned Motion (Agenda item 15a refers) submitted in the name of Councillor Keith Woodhams relating to road and pedestrian safety issues on Bowling Green Road in Thatcham.

The Chairman informed the Council that the Motion would not be debated at the meeting. In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.9.8. it would be referred to the Executive for consideration as this motion was an Executive function.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Keith Woodhams and seconded by Councillor Jeff Brooks.

“The Council is aware that the stretch of road known as Bowling Green Road from Northfield Road to the start of Tull Way, acts as a significant part of the northern road system in Thatcham, linking Floral Way with Tull Way. As such, the road is used by people to get to and from Newbury and other parts of Thatcham from both east and west as well as from Ashmore Green and Cold Ash.

           

Along this stretch of road, three housing areas are accessed via Mersey Way, Conway Drive and Thames Road.

 

Among a wide range of issues are the following:

 

The 30 mph speed limit is exceeded daily by numerous drivers.

 

Drivers exiting junctions from the three housing areas encounter vehicles coming towards them at high speed.

 

A 30 mph sign on the western approach is normally covered in foliage rendering the speed limit along the road unenforceable.

 

Foliage extends towards the road at various points contributing to poor sight lines at junctions.

 

Foliage narrows the footway at various points forcing pedestrians to walk closer to the edge of the pavement and thus closer to fast moving vehicles including HGV’s.

 

Regency Park Hotel staff & visitors cross the road to get to the facilities between fast moving vehicles, including HGV’s.

 

Pupils disembarking from the school bus and crossing the road between fast moving vehicles including HGV’s.

 

Given these significant issues:

 

This Council agrees to carry out an urgent and comprehensive review of Road and Pedestrian safety issues along this stretch of Bowling Green Road.

 

 

 

38.(b)

Notice of Motion - Motion on Governance Issues

The following Motion has been submitted in the name of Councillor Lee Dillon:

Motion on Governance Issues

This Council notes:

1.            That more public questions are being asked at both Executive and Full Council meetings.

2.            That the current time limit of 30 minutes results in some questions not being answered during the meeting they are tabled for.

3.            Public Participation is important to a healthy local democracy and the Council should welcome public questions.

4.            That petitions are an important tool for local campaigners to highlight issues.

5.            That some petitions have requests for multiple actions but current rules only allow for full acceptance, rejection, or investigation by Full Council and the Executive rather than being able to accept certain actions within the petition.

Therefore Council resolved to:

 

1.            Increase public question time at Full Council and Executive meetings to 45 minutes.

2.            Increase time for petitions to be debated as a follows:

300 - 500 signatures – 10 minute debate

500– 1000 signatures – 30 minute debate

Over 1000 signatures – minimum of 45 minutes but final debate time to be agreed by all group leaders.

 

3.            Allow Council or Executive to accept individual items within a petition without needing to accept all points, so that where we can take action we do.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the under-mentioned Motion (Agenda item 15b refers) submitted in the name of Councillor Lee Dillon relating to governance issues.

The Chairman informed the Council that the Motion would not be debated at the meeting. In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.9.8. it would be referred to the task group, set up by the Governance and Ethics Committee, considering amendments to the Constitution for consideration.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Lee Dillon and seconded by Councillor Jeff Brooks

This Council notes:

1.            That more public questions are being asked at both Executive and Full Council meetings.

2.            That the current time limit of 30 minutes results in some questions not being answered during the meeting they are tabled for.

3.            Public Participation is important to a healthy local democracy and the Council should welcome public questions.

4.            That petitions are an important tool for local campaigners to highlight issues.

5.            That some petitions have requests for multiple actions but current rules only allow for full acceptance, rejection, or investigation by Full Council and the Executive rather than being able to accept certain actions within the petition.

Therefore Council resolved to:

 

1.            Increase public question time at Full Council and Executive meetings to 45 minutes.

2.            Increase time for petitions to be debated as a follows:

300 - 500 signatures – 10 minute debate

500– 1000 signatures – 30 minute debate

Over 1000 signatures – minimum of 45 minutes but final debate time to be agreed by all group leaders.

 

3.            Allow Council or Executive to accept individual items within a petition without needing to accept all points, so that where we can take action we do.”

 

38.(c)

Notice of Motions - Motion to Declare a Climate Emergency

The following Motion has been submitted in the name of Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter:

Motion to Declare a Climate Emergency 

This Council notes that:

1.      All levels of government (national, regional and local) have a responsibility to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown. It is important for the residents of West Berkshire and the UK that we commit to working towards carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

2.      The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be of the utmost urgency.

3.      Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved health and well-being) but will also require changes in individual’s lifestyles and have a cost implication to both the individual and the state.

 

West Berkshire Council therefore:

1.         Declares a Climate Emergency.

2.         Will create a strategic plan for West Berkshire, that aims to deliver carbon neutral by 2030.

3.      Calls on HM Government to provide the Council with the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible.

4.      Will work with other authorities to determine and implement where practicable best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C.

5.      Will continue to work with businesses, residents and other stakeholders across the district to deliver this new goal via all relevant strategies and plans.

6.      The newly formed Environment Board will provide an interim report to the Executive in September 2019 with the progress made to date.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the under-mentioned Motion (Agenda item 15c refers) submitted in the name of Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter relating to the declaration of a climate emergency.

The Chairman informed the Council that the Motion would be debated at the meeting.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter and seconded by Councillor Adrian Abbs:

“This Council notes that:

1.           All levels of government (national, regional and local) have a responsibility to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown. It is important for the residents of West Berkshire and the UK that we commit to working towards carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

2.           The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be of the utmost urgency.

3.           Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved health and well-being) but will also require changes in individual’s lifestyles and have a cost implication to both the individual and the state.

West Berkshire Council therefore:

1.         Declares a Climate Emergency.

2.         Will create a strategic plan for West Berkshire, that aims to deliver carbon neutral by 2030.

3.         Calls on HM Government to provide the Council with the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible.

4.         Will work with other authorities to determine and implement where practicable best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C.

5.         Will continue to work with businesses, residents and other stakeholders across the district to deliver this new goal via all relevant strategies and plans.

6.         The newly formed Environment Board will provide an interim report to the Executive in September 2019 with the progress made to date. 

The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.

 

38.(d)

Notice of Motion - Motion on Heathrow Airport Expansion

 

The following Motion has been submitted in the name of Councillor David Marsh:

Motion on Heathrow Airport Expansion 

This Council notes:

The Heathrow Airport Expansion Consultation opened on 18th June and closes on 13th September 2019.

The next full Council meeting is not until the evening before the consultation closes.

In July 2018 Full Council voted to support Heathrow expansion.

In July 2018 the former Council Leader wrote to Richard Benyon MP outlining the Council’s support for Heathrow expansion.

 

This Council believes:

Support for Heathrow expansion is incompatible with tackling the climate emergency and the UK becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The Heathrow Western Rail Link is welcome because it will take more cars off the road, thereby reducing congestion and air pollution.

This Council resolves:

To oppose Heathrow expansion.

To make a submission to the Heathrow Airport Expansion Consultation to express its opposition to Heathrow expansion.

To write to Richard Benyon MP to express its opposition to Heathrow expansion.

To maintain its support for the Heathrow Western Rail Link.

 

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the under-mentioned Motion (Agenda item 15d refers) submitted in the name of Councillor David Marsh relating to Heathrow Airport Expansion.

 

The Chairman informed the Council that the Motion would not be debated at the meeting. In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.9.8. it would be referred to Transport Advisory Group for consideration. It would  then return to Council at its meeting on the 12th September for further consideration.

 

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor David Marsh and seconded by Councillor Carolyne Culver:

 

“This Council notes:

The Heathrow Airport Expansion Consultation opened on 18th June and closes on 13th September 2019. The next full Council meeting is not until the evening before the consultation closes. In July 2018 Full Council voted to support Heathrow expansion. In July 2018 the former Council Leader wrote to Richard Benyon MP outlining the Council’s support for Heathrow expansion.

 

This Council believes:

Support for Heathrow expansion is incompatible with tackling the climate emergency and the UK becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The Heathrow Western Rail Link is welcome because it will take more cars off the road, thereby reducing congestion and air pollution.

This Council resolves:

To oppose Heathrow expansion.

To make a submission to the Heathrow Airport Expansion Consultation to express its opposition to Heathrow expansion.

To write to Richard Benyon MP to express its opposition to Heathrow expansion.

To maintain its support for the Heathrow Western Rail Link.

 

 

39.

Members' Questions

Members of the Executive to answer the following questions submitted by Councillors in accordance with the Council’s Constitution:

(a)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Transport and Countryside submitted by Councillor Steve Masters:

With calls to residents to ‘Find greener ways of travelling’ does the Council believe increased investment in rural bus services would be a good thing?”.

 

(b)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Transport and Countryside submitted by Councillor Steve Masters:

How much has the Council (Including contributions to schemes initiated by third parties) invested in cycling infrastructure per resident since 2015?

 

(c)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning submitted by Councillor Steve Masters:

Would the Kennet Centre be a great opportunity for the Council to redevelop the town centre, build truly social housing and get a long term return on investment while at the same time addressing the ‘demographic time bomb’ that threatens the district’s future?”.

 

(d)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning submitted by Councillor Steve Masters:

How much CIL has been levied and collected by the council on non-commercial developments. (Residential extensions >100sqm and self-builds) since CIL was introduced?

 

(e)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning submitted by Councillor Steve Masters:

Did West Berkshire Council respond/Contribute to the Government’s consultation reviewing the CIL process?

 

 

Minutes:

(a)          A question standing in the name of Councillor Steve Masters on the subject of investment in rural bus services would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Transport and Countryside.

(b)          A question standing in the name of Councillor Steve Masters on the subject of investment in cycling infrastructure would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Transport and Countryside.

(c)          A question standing in the name of Councillor Steve Masters on the subject of redevelopment of Newbury Town Centre would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning.

(d)          A question standing in the name of Councillor Steve Masters on the subject of collection of CIL levies on non-commercial developments would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning.

(e)          A question standing in the name of Councillor Steve Masters on the subject of the Council’s response to a consultation on CIL processes  would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Economic Development and Planning.

 

A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As. (right click on link and ‘Edit Hyperlink’. Insert URL to pdf on website in ‘address’ field)